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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day: Just Hear Me Out?

I didn't realize today was going to be Mother's Day until about...Friday.
And I didn't really care. For my sake, I mean. (Because, you know, I'm a mother now. It still blows my mind.)

It isn't that I don't want to honor my mother...my mother-in-law...my grandmothers...and it isn't that I don't want my children to honor me. But why should these things be going on? Do I want my daughter to give me flowers because its Mother's Day and this is what the TV ads and the Hallmark aisle dictate that she's supposed to do? Because I deserve to be pampered for all of the pain she's put me through and the care I've given her? Friends, I don't "deserve" anything. Esther and I both need to be honoring our mothers and grandmothers every day of the year for one reason: because it brings glory to God. Don't you think it is worth noticing that the country spending 20 billion dollars for Mother's Day caters to a rebellious youth culture in which parents are continually disrespected and then stuck in nursing homes at the ends of their lives?

photo source

Okay, that may have sounded a bit harsh. I don't want to be insensitive--my Facebook feed was filled with beautiful posts thanking and praising many, many amazing women. They were beautiful and sincere, and I was blessed to read them. I just think we should do that sort of thing all throughout every year--and continually be holding ourselves accountable to God's expectations for honoring our moms, so that we can guard against cutting ourselves slack and then easing our consciences with a pink carnation on...what day? Oh yes...the Lord's. That brings me to my other objection.

Sunday is the Lord's day. it isn't mine, it isn't my mothers. It isn't my grandmother's. God asks for one day out of every seven. Of course they are all His, which makes these dichotomies a little more difficult to explain, but this day is holy--it is set apart for a specific purpose. If we don't wholeheartedly commit ourselves to rest and be replenished in communion with our Christ on His day, how can we possibly be equipped to give proper honor to our mothers the rest of the week?
Maybe this is more of a struggle for me than for you. I know everyone has different strengths. But it is hard enough for me to put my fears, worries and even just mundane focuses aside every Sunday without extra interference from a secular culture.

So just to make sure I've been perfectly clear...I love my mom. She is my inspiration--if by inspiration I can mean that the things she has sacrificed and accomplished in her life boggle my mind every single day and I have been trying fruitlessly to think of the words to her poem for years. My mother-in-law has given her life selflessly to serve God, she's been through hardships I can't really imagine, and I couldn't have been blessed with a better one, because I don't think a better exists. My grandmothers have shaped my life in ways that I can't limit by describing at the end of a paragraph, even if wide physical distances separate all of them from me now.

I give praise to my Father in heaven for each one of these mothers in my life...and I think Mother's Day does them a great disservice. 

photo source: www.girltalkhome.com


Tom Brainerd said...

Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just happened by...intrigued...

If I can summarize the first 'objection'...every day ought to be Mothers' Day...right? Every ought to be the day when husband and children honor the mother in their home, and the ones who have gone before.

I suspect that, for the most part, those of whom you saw glowing posts on FB, or wherever, were not *surprised* by them. They are likely the recipients of that honor continually...with brief interruptions caused by the body of death that those giving the honor inhabit. The fact that those giving the honor choose to participate in the heaping on of a little more on one day of the year...who's to be concerned? Those who honor in a godly manner throughout the year aren't likely to drift into idolatry on Mothers' Day.

With regard to objection next...we can likely give appropriate honor without stealing away from the honor due Yahweh. He, indeed, is the one who mandates honor of father and mother, and to do so is to show obedience. Of great concern are those who 'honor' only once a year (which is really no honor at all), which is dishonor to and theft from Yahweh, while those who more greatly honor on a day, even the Lord's Day, perform that which He requires.

Christ's blessings on you and your family.


Hannah May said...

Hi Pastor Brainerd--thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your wisdom.

My first point was not so much that every day should be Mother's Day, but that we should honor our mothers every day. I think there is a difference. But whether a family decides that they want to celebrate Mother's Day also or not is completely their choice. I don't think it is wrong at all--we just prefer not to in our family.

But in regards to the Lord's Day argument: As I mentioned, I think there is a difference between honoring our mothers on Sunday and using a Sunday to celebrate them. Just as my pastor does not set the leftover Lord's Supper bread out with the fellowship meal because it has been consecrated, I don't think we should use the Lord's Day to lift up any person other than Christ, because it has been consecrated to Him. That's my family's belief, as far as we understand it.